Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nurse-led Intervention Successful in Increasing Older Patients' Activity Levels

Nurse-led primary care interventions can lead to sustained increases in physical activity (PA) among older adults, according to a recent article published in PLOS Medicine by lead author Tess Harris of St George's University of London. Additionally, the participating patients indicated that they felt positively about the intervention, reports Medical Xpress.

Researchers enrolled nearly 300 people ages 60-75 in the trial, and randomly separated them by household, to receive either standard care or the nurse-led intervention. Primary care nurses delivered PA consultations over a three month-period to the intervention group, providing individualized activity plans and feedback on data recorded from pedometers and accelerometers worn by the patients.

At the three month mark, the intervention group reported that they took 1,037 more steps than the control group. Additionally, the intervention group spent 63 more minutes per week in PA sessions of 10 minutes or more. There was a sustained gap at the 12-month mark, although it decreased to 609 steps per day and 40 minutes per week.

The trial, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, suggests that this type of nurse-led intervention may be an effective way to increase PA in older adults, resulting in better health. However, the researchers said that additional trials are needed to discover what aspects of the intervention were most effective and how it would work in larger and more socio-economically diverse populations.

INQRI grantees Barbara Resnick and Sheryl Zimmerman also found success with an intervention designed to deliver Function Focused Care to residents in assisted living facilities. Their intervention was designed to maintain and improve function, PA, muscle strength, psychosocial outcomes (efficacy expectations and life satisfaction) and decrease adverse events (pain, falls and hospitalizations) among assisted living residents. Residents in intervention treatment sites demonstrated fewer declines in function and spent more time in moderate level physical activity at 4 months and more overall counts of activity at 12 months when compared to residents in control sites. There were also fewer transfers to the hospital among those in the treatment sites.

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